Power Africa initiative begins to bear fruits in Kenya

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Kenya to generate 70MW of steam power in two years time

Kenya plans to generate 70MW of steam power in the next two years under the Power Africa initiative by President Barrack Obama that aims to light up the continent by using renewable energy.

As part of the plans to generate the 70MW, Akiira Geothermal Ltd, a consortium developing geothermal power, plans to double its exploration wells by end of the year at a cost of US$ 14m.

Robert Bunyi, the outgoing Chief Executive of Akiira confirmed the reports and said that drilling of two more wells will begin in June this year in Akiira Valley in Naivasha steam fields.

“Exploration and drilling of the first two wells will begin in early June and will possibly be followed by a second one,” Mr. Bunyi said.

He further pointed out that the US$ 300m project is being financed through a mix of debt where 30 percent will be sourced from the shareholders while the remaining 70 percent will be borrowed from Standard Bank; Centum Investments will further contribute about US$ 90m.

The project is also partly funded by US President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative that intends to light up the continent using renewable energy. It already received a US$ 1m grant two years ago from the US-based Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to help meet its technical and legal expenses.

The company started exploration in August last year, targeting to drill up to 15 steam wells, each with an average capacity of 5MW, bringing the expected installed capacity to about 75MW.

Akiira Geothermal Ltd is owned by four shareholders including Frontier Investment Management ApS of Denmark, Marine Power of the USA, Ram Energy of the United States of America and Centum Investments of Kenya.

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